Mandelson pins hopes on substance not spin

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The Independent Online

Peter Mandelson, the architect of New Labour's public relations makeover, has said that "spin" is not the way to improve the European Commission's lacklustre public image.

Peter Mandelson, the architect of New Labour's public relations makeover, has said that "spin" is not the way to improve the European Commission's lacklustre public image.

Outlining his views on his new job as European commissioner for trade, Mr Mandelson argued instead that the Commission needs to make itself relevant to citizens' lives and ensure it has the correct policies.

In answer to a set of written questions Mr Mandelson also promised to be his "own man" when he becomes a European commissioner and not to toe the Government's line. And he said he would be happy to explain to MEPs the "set of unfortunate reasons" that prompted his two cabinet resignations, cutting his ministerial career "shorter than I would have wished".

Mr Mandelson's comments come ahead of his crucial confirmation hearing in the European Parliament on 4 October. All commissioner-designates have to appear before MEPs and Mr Mandelson is expected to face some tough questioning.

The entire team of 25 commissioner-designates began a two-day meeting in Leuven yesterday as part of their preparations for the parliamentary hearings and their term in office.

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